Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Ah yes! The Lord!" Wilderness Day 5

"Come near to God and he will come near to you." James 3:8

I Won't Forget:
1. The tarp smacking our heads in the morning because the pole had blown over in the night
2. Waking up super early and putting on our hiking boots but leaving our packs behind to hike up to the peak
3. Hannah and Alaina read the gospel from James to us as we walked, stopping to reflect as we went. They invited the girls into life with a Christ, a life of purpose and meaning, if they'd never made that decision before. 
4. PEAK CELEBRATION! Everyone gave a toast with Swedish Fish and Capri-Suns and then let out their best woman scream out over the mountain. A toast to living the Wilderness adventure and having it be better than expected. A toast to feeling strong and beautiful for the first time in a very long time. A toast to experiencing God. A toast to being the happiest I can remember in years.
5. Genna's birthday!!!! Hannah and Alaina had already planned a birthday themed day so it was ironic we actually had one in our group. Birthday hats and birthday candles on the coffee cake. 
6. Hannah Wallen and Allison's life stories in our sleeping bags
7. "When I go home, life will be different because..." conversation
8. Easy trails down the mountain to a huge clearing where we got to eat pepperoni pizza bagels for lunch
9. Hannah Dillon's life story
10. Hannah Novelli, Allison and Cassidy jumped in the lake even though it was freezing
11. Conflict + Resolution = Intimacy
12. Hiking with Cassidy and Alaina-- such good conversations, so much positivity and joy. I don't want to ever forget how genuine Alaina is when she's excited and says, "Ah! The Lord!"
13. Chicken friend tacos top the list of meals on the trail
14. Making up awards for everyone in our trip: 
     Alaina- Most Dopest
     Hannah Novelli- Most Likely to be on SNL
     Sar- Best Trail Buddy
     Julia- The Most Proud of Everyone
     Cassidy- Best and Most Consistent Farter
     Kaelyn- Highlight of the Video Diaries
     Abby- The Most Willing To Help 
     Genna- The Most Best Days Ever
     Kaylee- Most Likely To Become A Guide
     Erin- Mighty Spirit
     Hannah Wallen- Purest Heart
     Hannah Dillon- Most Likely To Get Back Up Again With A Smile
     Rachel- The Warrior
     Sydni- Most Surprising
     Alli Sams- Best Trail Hair
15. This group is always laugh-- the best kind of from your gut laugh. We signed a letter to Izzy requesting Hannah and Alaina to be on program together.
16. Kaelyn and Julia's life stories with spicy hot chocolate
17. Rain allllllll night long and puddles in tents

Honorable Mention Blog Title:
"Our band Stoop Kids is all about inclusivity and helping people's dreams come true. You're in!"
"I thought I was an optimist until I came on this trip."
"I like lavender so much I thought it would be a good idea to put some in my mouth. Bad idea."

5 miles

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

"Beautiful things don't seek attention." Wilderness Day 4

"Follow God's example, therefore as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5:1-2. 

Things I Won't Forget:
1. Waking up early and talking with Hannah and Alaina in our tent for a really long time while we had sleeping bag coffee
2. Waking up the girls for bagels and hot chocolate under the tent
3. "Prayer changes your heart" the girls each had someone else's name to pray for while we hiked
4. We experienced God's safety while we hiked up the mountain over tree dead fall, watched out for falling rocks, steep hills and made it through with just mild scratches and blisters
5. Tuna for lunch (way better than anticipated) under the tarp and listening to Sydni's life story
6. Hiking with Kaylee all afternoon
8. Talking with Hannah Novelli when she was in the back of the line with me and being so thankful for the way she loves people and asks questions and wants to know more
9. Steep, steep, steep non-existent trails (this part of the route hasn't been maintained in the last 10 years) and realizing there was no way to avoid getting wet and muddy
10. Right before we reached the top, Alaina stopped and told us about a part in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty when a character says, "Beautiful things don't seek attention." We were about to see a hidden treasure that very few people ever get to see in person-- a lake hidden up in the mountains where it doesn't make any sense for a lake to be.
11. Mac and cheese with sausage for dinner around a campfire
12. Genna's life story
13. Hannah and Alaina let all the girls sleep under the giant tent for a sleepover so we'd be warmer because we were at about 11,800 ft
14. The most beautiful and brightest stars you've ever seen

Life Stories are one of the biggest pieces of content on Wilderness. Each person gets 15 minutes to share their life story. Then everyone else asks them questions for 15 minutes. So unlike the real world. it's a beautiful opportunity for each person to share their heart and know that they're really being listened to and being heard. When the questions are finished, two people pray and one person encourages that friend.

Life Story Questions:
What's your favorite?
You have 4 phones calls-- I love you, I miss you, I'm sorry, I forgive you. Who do you call?
Who do you wish was here listening to your story right now?
What do you wish people knew about you?
How do you want to be remembered?
What three things would you put into a time capsule of your life right now?
What are three of your favorite things about yourself?
If you got a text when you got your phone back, who do you hope it would be from and what would it say?
What is God teaching you right now?
What do you wish you could say to _________?
What do you hope to gain from Wilderness?
If someone came over the hill right now with a magic box, what would be inside?
What brings you joy?
If you knew you couldn't fail, what would you try?
What lie do you most often believe about yourself and what truth do you wish you could remember?
What outfit could you wear every single day?
What do you recommend?
What characteristic of Christ are you most drawn to?

Honorable Mention Blog Title:
"Whoever pees closest to their friends wins."

7 miles